Celebrations as Halesworth group reaches £1million milestone against cancer
- Credit: Archant
Five decades of fundraising have proved worth their weight for one Suffolk group this week, as it celebrated raising more than £1million towards cancer research.
Set up in the early 1960s, the Halesworth Cancer Research UK (CRUK) committee raises funds to help develop treatments and research into the disease.
To date they have raised £1.3m, and their efforts were recognised at a special thank you event at the Triple Inn Pub, Halesworth, yesterday, organised by the charity.
The committee currently has 18 members, including long-serving volunteers Michael Bryenton, treasurer and member of 53 years, who said among his fondest memories was attending the Royal Garden Party on behalf of the charity and meeting The Queen.
Joint chairman Eileen Lowe has also dedicated 52 years to the committee.
Fellow chairman Nina Canham said: “People are very proud to have reached this total.
“We’ve passed the £1m and moved beyond it now. Everyone is just amazed.
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“When you think we are just a small market town in a rural area, the local support has been fantastic.
“People will always come out and support us and we thank them for that.
“It has been very worthwhile and hopefully we’ve made a difference.
“In the early days we were making a few hundred pounds here and there but now we’re making a couple of thousand with each event.
“We run fairs, sales, a sponsored walk, street collection, a big breakfast event and sell knitting, crafts, jams and chutneys throughout the year. we just jog along, really.”
The committee is now calling on younger members to come forward and help the cause, with many of its members over the age of 80.
Mrs Canham said: “Some of our supporters are now in their 70s and 80s.
“We have all sorts – a cancer nurse, farmers’ wives, busy working people and pensioners – anyone who wants to help.”
CRUK local fundraising manager, Nichola Whymark, said: “The Halesworth committee are a true inspiration to everyone at Cancer Research UK.
“They have worked tirelessly for more than half a century raising funds via their wide variety of events.
“To reach the £1million milestone is a massive achievement. We are all very proud of them.
“We are so grateful to Michael, Eileen, Nina and the many volunteers past and present who’ve raised an incredible amount of money for us.
“Without them, our vital research wouldn’t happen.”
Cancer Research UK receives no government funding for its research and relies entirely on donations.
According to the charity, cancer survival rates in the UK have doubled in the past 40 years and now two in four people survive cancer.
It aims to see three quarters of people surviving cancer within the next 20 years.
Anyone interested in joining the Halesworth committee can call Mrs Canham on (01986) 873005.